|Title||One of a Kind: The Rise and Fall of Stuey "The Kid" Ungar|
|Author||Nolan Dalla & Peter Alson|
|Pros||An incredible story of an amazing, tender-hearted card genius who beat the best players in the world at gin and poker.|
|Cons||An incredible story of an arrogant, uncouth, gambling degenerate who lost to the vig and drugs. Very little poker.|
|xi||Foreword by Mike Sexton|
|xv||A Note to the Reader|
|23||Gin Joints, Big Dogs, and Monkey's Business||3|
|45||A Made Man||4|
|59||Beginnings and Endings||5|
|69||Raising the Stakes||6|
|81||Both Ends Against the Middle||7|
|97||The Second Time Around||8|
|133||A Taste of Honey||10|
|167||Cards in the Air||12|
|181||The Hand of Death and the Sport of Kings||13|
|197||Get Up, Stand Up||14|
|211||Heart of a Champ||15|
|227||Chasing the Dragon||16|
|241||The Comeback Kid||17|
|283||The River Card||19|
He refused to go to the dentist until his teeth got too painful. Eventually, all his back teeth were capped or replaced.
His daughter, Stefanie Ungar, provides the final words of the acknowledgments and the entire book, "I only hope that everyone who reads this book will not only learn about my dad's life and all of his accomplishments, but also learn from his mistakes as well."
Nolan Dalla interviewed Stu Ungar many times in 1998 when the former prodigy was beginning to feel his mortality. Quotes from the native New Yorker appear throughout the book, providing excellent insight into what he was thinking on numerous occasions where a saner person would have chosen a different path.
Ungar was already able to handle his father's gambling bookmaking records at age 8. He made his first mark in the world by defeating many of the best gin players in New York City at age 16. When he was banned from gin tournaments in Las Vegas (because his amazing skill scared too many players from entering) and from blackjack (because his memory let him go far beyond card-counting to tracking of all of the cards), he turned to poker.
Bankrolled and, equally importantly, protected by the Genovese crime family, Stuey took on all comers in gin and could have lived comfortably from the income if he didn't like to bet on horses and sports, two gambling arenas in which he had absolutely no edge and thus couldn't overcome the vig. He never stopped wagering significant portions of his bankroll because that was how he got his thrills.If Ungar was precocious as a child, in many ways he remained a man-child mentally as he grew older. He never had a bank account, only obtained a driver's license through bribery, dodged the draft similarly,3
This was unnecessary, as Ungar would have failed the physical (for starters, he never weighed over 100 pounds).
But he reached the top of the world in gin and poker with unmatched talent. And after wasting away over a decade to drugs, he rebounded in 1997 to become 'The Comeback Kid' before the final downfall of his poetic and riveting Shakespearean tragedy.